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Republicans succeed in forcing a change in a measure altering Obama’s newly enacted health care overhaul, meaning the bill will have to return to the House for final congressional approval.
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans learned early Thursday that they will be able to kill language in a measure altering President Barack Obama’s newly enacted health care overhaul, meaning the bill will have to return to the House for final congressional approval.
It appeared initially that deleting the provisions, dealing with Pell grants for low-income students, should not cause major problems for Democrats hoping to rush the bill to Obama and avoid prolonging what has been a politically painful ordeal for the party. Democrats described the situation as a minor glitch, but did not rule out that Republicans might be able to remove additional sections of the bill.
The president, who signed the landmark legislation into law on Tuesday, was flying to Iowa later in the day for the first of many appearances he will make around the country before the fall congressional elections to sell his health care revamp.
Obama was appearing in Iowa City, where as a presidential candidate in 2007 he touted his ideas for health coverage for all. His trip comes with polls showing people are divided over the new health law, and Democratic lawmakers from competitive districts hoping he can convince more voters by November that it was the right move.
As an exhausted Senate labored past 2 a.m. on a stack of GOP amendments, Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told reporters that Republicans consulting with the chamber’s parliamentarian had found “two minor provisions” that violate Congress’ budget rules.